Our sail to Cabo San Lucas
17 March 2012 | Cabo San Lucas
We left Ensenada around 8:30am and immediately raised the main and put the first reef in. Per our weather reports, we were expecting some wind today. We motor-sailed through the bay and into the ocean. Once we were past the islands and Punta Banda, we turned Ethel off and began to sail.
We had some great wind and Tanga sailed along at 6-7knots. The winds continued to build throughout the day, and at some point in the afternoon, we hit 9.1 knots! That is the fastest we have sailed on Tanga! The sailing was exhilerating, but level and controlled, not overpowered! Around 4:00pm, the seas became confused and we got knocked around alittle bit. As the sun began to set, the winds died and we motored overnight. Total miles for day: 129
No winds today. We relied on Ethel and motored all day and all night long. We attempted to sail three different times, but unfortunately, the winds were not strong enough to get us moving. Total miles for day: 139
We really need to find some wind because Ethel was been running, nonstop, for over 36 hours. I placed an order with Tom for some fresh caught Tuna for din din. Tom has been in "hunt and gather mode" everyday, and today, while I was taking a nap and Tom at the helm, I'm awaken to Tom yelling "Fish on hook!" I scramble out of bed, grab the glove and plyers and run up to the cockpit. Tom is back with the fishing pole, and says "He's gone." URG! The fish bit but then ran. When Tom pulled in the line, we could see exactly where the fish bit on the lure, because he dented it. Oh so close, but atleast we have fish biting! Right before sunset, Tom was bringing in the fishing pole for the night, when the pole snapped right in half. He kept the reel and tossed the pole. Total miles for day: 121
We started the day feeling happy because we are half way to Cabo! After running Ethel for 57 hours straight, we had to turn her off, let her cool down, so Tom could fix our alternator problem. We bobbed around in the water at 2 knots, while Tom was in the engine room. The alternator (a new/remanufactured) would not charge, or so he thought. Turns out the prior owner had made a splice that was crap, and wasn't seen previously; thus a re-wiring project at sea began. 5 hours later, Tom had it all fixed and he climbed out of the engine room, in between swells. We turned Ethel back on and motored the rest of the day. As the sun was setting, we decided to lower the main. While doing this, the #5 sail slide on the mainsail broke. We now can only raise our mainsail to the 2nd reef point. We continued to motor through the night. Wind, oh wind, where are thou wind? Total miles for day: 129
The last few days, I have been on watch while the sun rises and Tom has been on watch when the sun sets. I prefer the sun rising; I find it gives me energy. As for the moon, since the first night, we have had a great big full moon which lights up the night sky. This moon light has helped us stay awake on the night watches.
This morning, we had our first bird landing on this trip. I was on watch; it was just after the sun rose, and I see this bird circling around us in the sky. Before I knew it, I looked astern, and there was the bird, sitting behind me, cleaning itself. He stayed with us for about 1/2 hr before flying away. Tom wanted chicken for breakfast but I said no.
We experienced steep and short following breaking seas today. The swells were 6 seconds apart. Those are short and tight swells which make for a bumpy ride. Still motoring. We are getting physically tired of hand steering 24/7. Our autopilot is a hydrovayne, so it only works when sailing; we didn't expect this total lack of air.
We had 2 whales swim 50 feet off our bow today! We thought we would hit them but they swam past as we closed into a body length of them. We think they were fin whales. They then moved far away from our boat and we watched them off our starboard side before they disappeared. We had another fish bite today, but this time, the fish bit the lure off the line and swam away. Fish 2, Tom 0. We had confused and choppy seas through the night, from the west and north. Still motoring. Total mile for day: 117
I woke Tom up at 6am, and said "Lets go sailing!" We finally have wind! Ethel did a great job of running for a solid 43 hours and now it's time for her to rest. During our morning sail, we enjoyed the sounds of the lapping water, and the balanced feel of Tanga sailing. It was a very relaxed and peaceful sail at 5 knots.
We made contact, via VHF, with Disney Wonder cruiseship at 7am because we were on a collision course, based on our AIS (Automated Identification System). The AIS is required for all commerical vessels and an option for pleasure boats. It's a pretty cool system that tells us all the information about any vessel within a 15 mile radius of us. Anyway, the cruiseship had to alter their course around us since we were sailing and had the right a way.
As it turned to afternoon, the seas and winds continued to build stronger. The seas were still confused and choppy, from the north and west. This made for an exciting sail. At this point, it looked like we were about 14 hours outside of Cabo. Because we had time to spare, we decided to sail where the wind took us and had a great time doing so.
Around 5:oopm, we decided to turn Ethel back on for the last time. We made the decision to motor the rest of the way to Cabo. We are about 50 miles west offshore. This was when the fun started!
The story about the last 30 hours of our cruise to Cabo is to be continued. We have lots to say which is why it is going to be a seperate post. Stay tuned!!!